Volunteer Application Information

Thank you for your interest in the Virginia Zoo’s Conservation Youth Team program.

To be considered for acceptance into this program beginning Summer 2023, please complete this application by March 15, 2023. We want to get to know you, so please be thoughtful in your responses. Give us specific examples to illustrate your thoughts and opinions.

Invitations to interview will be sent via e-mail to the address(es) provided by March 25, 2023. If invited, you will need to be available to attend one interview session on April 1, April 2, or April 5 (if unable to attend a weekend interview date).

All accepted applicants must attend CYT training, track dates, and Conservation Events (off-site trips) as follows:

SUMMER 2023 (required for First Year CYT members)

  • CYT Mandatory Summer Training: Monday, June 26 – Friday, June 30 AND Monday, July 3 – Friday, July 7 (with Tuesday the 4th off for the holiday) 
    • Week 1 required for First Year CYTs, Week 2 required for all CYTs 
    • Summer Conservation Event: During the Week 2 of training, date TBD
  • Summer Shifts: Minimum of 2 (guide) or 3 (camp) full-day (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) shifts each week.  Applicants will commit to the same days each week and must commit to every week of the program. Three absences without make-up days are allowed each semester. Additional absences will require make-up days, scheduled as much in advance as possible, to remain in good standing with the program. 
    • All possible program dates: June 26-August 20
    • Guide Track: Sunday-Saturday, one weekend day required
    • Camp Track: Monday – Friday

FALL 2023/SPRING 2024 (one semester required for First Year CYT members)

  • Fall Mandatory Training Weekend: September 16 and 17, 2023. Mandatory for all CYTs, regardless of whether they are volunteering during the fall semester.
    • Fall Conservation Event: This weekend, date TBD
  • Spring Mandatory Training Weekend: February 24 and 25, 2024. Mandatory for all CYTs, regardless of whether they are volunteering during the spring semester.
    • Spring Conservation Event: This weekend, date TBD
  • Fall and/or Spring Shifts: One semester is required. One full-day (8:30 am – 4:00  pm) shift each weekend*.  Applicants will commit to the same day each week and must commit to every week of the program. Three absences without make-up days are allowed each semester. Additional absences will require make-up days, scheduled as much in advance as possible, to remain in good standing with the program. *Camp shifts will not be available weekly and will depend on camp schedule.
    • Fall program dates fall between: September 17-December 18, 2023
    • Spring program dates fall between: March 2-May 12, 2024
    • Guide: Saturday or Sunday
    • Camp: Any scheduled camps, including Winter Break, Spring Break, and possible day camps.  Other non-camp opportunities may be available as well.

After your first full year, any two of the three semesters (summer, fall, and spring) plus the mandatory training week/weekends are required to remain in good standing with the program.

If you have any questions during your application, please email zoovolunteers@norfolk.gov and we will try to get back to you in 2-3 days!

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